It’s interesting how I started up this blog. One day I realized, with all the library and technology blogs that I follow, wouldn’t there also have to be some running blogs out there? and that’s how I got the idea to start this one through the Running Blog Directory. One of my favorites is by a lady in Arizona, and she calls her blog Miscellaneous Ramblings of a Slowpoke. She gave me hope – she seems so upbeat and self-deprecating – that if she could keep going and keep training, so could I. I especially liked her aversion to hills and felt happy to know that there was someone else out there like me.  I have to admit, though, over the past week or so, running in N.C., that the slight inclines I faced in Arlington, VA felt more like a “come on – try and beat me!” challenge, that I was looking to, not automatically feeling like I was beaten just by looking at them.

So while I’m reading those blogs online, what I’m reading  in print is a lot of books about Everest. Bill keeps asking me, “what is your fascination with Everest?!” I have to admit, I don’t know, but it’s there (my fascination, I mean, I’m not quoting that famous quote of Mallory‘s as to why people climb it – “because it’s there.”)  I think I like reading about Everest and the people who’ve climbed it, and who have died on it, because I find it simply amazing how much people can put their bodies through and what lengths they’ll go to. Like the crazy (and soon to be among them, Jamie) ultra-marathoners, and triathletes, people and their bodies continue to amaze me. I find it amazing that the hardest part about climbing Everest is knowing your own body and knowing when you should stop and maybe turn around, because as they say, “getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory.” 

I’m  sure a lot of people know about the disaster that happened on Everest on May 11, 1996. I’ve been reading a lot of biographies of some of the people involved in that day. There was a recent biography about Scott Fischer, called “A Life Lived on High” that just came out in 2008 by Rob Birkby. They had been friends for years and had climbed together and I thought it was really well written. I’ve also just read a book written by Anatoli Boukreev, called The Climb – he was the Russian (Khazakh) climber that was part of Scott’s expedition that some have said was selfish to climb without oxygen, but when you hear his side of things and hear what was agreed upon before the climb it changes your perspective.  I also just read a biography by David Breashears, “High Exposure: An Enduring passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places” who is the person that filmed the Imax film of Everest. I am so bummed now to have not seen that when it  was playing in the Imax theatres, because now I have even so much more respect for what they went through when they filmed it. The lengths that they went to are just amazing, and also his team was so generous in helping other teams with oxygen supplies and getting off of the mountain. When you think of the costs involved in getting to the summit, it literally can blow your mind.  Also, when you think of how high they are climbing, sometimes with all of these vertical drops of thousands of feet, or even vertical miles, it’s quite scary, especially for someone like me who is deathly afraid of heights, and even steep escalators. Needless to say, I didn’t like the really steep escalator of the Rosslyn Metro stop. Any of you who have ever used it in the past, or who have been in D.C., or at the Porter Square T stop in Boston, can get the idea. (You must read that Wikipedia entry on the Rosslyn metro stop that I have linked here.)  So mountain climbing is not in the cards for me, but I can live vicariously through these (auto)biographies and feel inspired.

Anyway, these are the types of books that I read when not thinking about running, or actually out there running, or hanging out with my husband, Bill, at home.